We currently have an estimated 2 million visitors annually. Over half of those visitors, and two thirds of international visitors, say that National Park status is an important influence in their decision to visit. However, it’s crucial that visitors don’t undermine the very things that attract them in the first place – landscape, wildlife, culture, tranquillity.
Tourism: Action + Change – Tourism Action Plan For The Cairngorms National Park 2017-22
This Action Plan has been developed by the Cairngorms Tourism Partnership which brings together the key businesses and agencies involved in tourism. The Plan sets out the priority actions over the next 5 years to deliver sustainable tourism in the Cairngorms National Park.
European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas is a practical management tool that enables national Parks and other protected areas to develop tourism sustainably based on 5 principles:
- giving priority to protection;
- contributing to sustainable development;
- engaging all stakeholders;
- planning sustainable tourism effectively;
- pursuing continues improvement.
In 2005, just two years after designation as a National Park, the Cairngorms became the first National Park in the UK to be awarded the Charter on the basis of our first 5 year strategy & action plan for tourism. In 2011 and again in 2017 we were re-assessed on the basis of what had been delivered over the previous five years, as well as our strategy & action plans for the following 5 years. On both occasions we passed with flying colours. You can find the 2017 verifier’s evaluation report here.
Cairngorms Visitor Survey 2019/20
Every five years, the Cairngorms National Park Authority carries out a year-long visitor survey to help understand what motivates people to visit the area, how they get here, what they do and what they like and don’t like.
The latest survey ran from May 2019 until March 2020 when the Covid-19 lockdown brought research to a slightly early halt. The results are now in and the final report from the research is now available here (PDF | 1.7MB). We’ll also be using this data to build dashboards that will allow you to search for more specific information – watch this space. View a summary of the report’s findings here (PDF | 575KB)
In the meantime, if you need any more information about the research please contact Heather Trench on 01479 870545.
The previous survey was carried out in 2014/15 and the full results are here.
If you’re interested in finding out more, or would like to have access to the full datasets, please contact Heather Trench on 01479 870545.
Economic Impacts of Tourism in the National Park
We commission annual analysis of visitor numbers and the economic value of tourism to the Cairngorms, which showed over 2 million tourism visits to the Cairngorms National Park in 2019 before visitation patterns were severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Summary reports of the data are available for both 2019 and also 2020, but please note that due to the methodology used, we consider that the 2020 report underestimates the number of post-lockdown day visitors to countryside locations. If you would like any further information, or access to the full reports please contact Heather Trench on 01479 870545.
Delivering the National Tourism Strategy
In 2012, Tourism Scotland 2020 – A Strategy for Leadership & Growth was launched by the Scottish Tourism Alliance. Led by industry and supported by the public sector, the strategy provides a common agenda for the industry and supporting organisations.
Cairngorms National Park: 2020 – Delivering the National Tourism Strategy (PDF – 853KB) puts our work on tourism in the context of the national strategy.